[CAS LK 111] - Midterm Exam Guide - Everything you need to know! (20 pages long)

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CAS LK 111
MIDTERM EXAM
STUDY GUIDE
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Reading Outlines
Theme: The Concept of Culture
Piece: Raymond Williams(1976) “Culture” pgs 87-92
Summary:
Culture originally meant a process that dealt with agriculture. In its original form, it
would be synonyms with the word, cultivate.
At one point culture and civilization meant the same thing
The word culture has three main uses
Independent and abstract noun which describes the general process of
intellectual, spiritual and aesthetic development
Independent noun that describes a particular way of life
Independent and abstract noun that describes work and practices of
intellectual and artistic activity
Main Take Away:
The idea of culture is a new concept in and of itself. It has changed from its original
meaning to the one we use today, as it the idea of culture became something that
needed to be expressed.
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Theme: The Concept of Culture
Piece: Clifford Geertz(1973) “The Impact of the Concept of Culture” pp 33-54
Main Take Away:
Culture is not something that is innate within us. It is a set of learned behaviors and
ideologies that are attached to a person by happenchance.
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Theme: Ethnography and Theory and Practice
Piece: Bronislaw Malinowski(1932) “Introduction: The Subject, Method and Scope...”pgs 1-25
Main Take Away:
In order to have a successful ethnography you have to fully experience the culture
and and treat the ethnography as a science. You must live their, take note of
language, and experience everything. You will reveal more about them and they will
reveal more about you
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Theme: Ethnography and Theory and Practice
Piece: Spradley(1980) Participant Observation Chapter 1 & 2
Main Take Away:
Ethnography: the work of describing one’s culture. In ethnography, the goal is to see
the world from the native’s point of view.
Cultural Behavior, Cultural Knowledge, Cultural Artifacts
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Must know the true meaning of each in any given observation
Different types of knowledge
Explicit: What we know and can be described with ease
Tacit: the kind of knowledge that is difficult to transfer to another person by
means of writing it down or verbalizing it.
Moral Obligations:
You must always communicate your goals and protect the privacy of others.
You must give a fair return to informants and make reports available to
informants
Sometimes Ethnographers will have morally conflicting situations and it is up
to use their discretion(and the law) to decide how to act.
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Theme: Ethnography Subjects and Objects
Piece: Horace Miner (1956) “Body Ritual among the Nacirema,”
Main Take Away:
Horace Miner uses the “Nacirema” in order to shed light on the way anthropology
describe other cultures. It is a satirical piece that flips the anthropological model on
its head and uses to to describe our culture as something very peculiar and foreign.
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Theme: Language
Piece: Franz Boas On Alternating Sounds
Main Take Away:
There is a “Sound Blindness” that occurs with foreign languages. Not everyone hears
the same or hears all the peculiarities of some sounds. In the early days of
anthropology, this was attributed to one culture not being as “developed”.
This is not a matter of evolutionary development but phonetic apperception
No such thing as alternating sounds but there is alternating perceptions
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Theme: Language
Piece: Franz Boas (1887) “A Year among the Eskimo,”
Main Take Away:
Unilinear cultural evolution: There is this idea that cultures develop the same and
follow the same “path” to social development. Boas proposes that no such path exists
and that one culture is not more “developed” than the other.
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Theme: Language
Piece: Franz Boas (1911) “On Grammatical Categories,” pp. 121-123.
Main Take Away:
Grammar is different ways of organizing thought
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